ANY INSTRUMENTS

10. TWENTY CANONS, 1935-1937
New Edition by Austin Clarkson
(Stefan Wolpe Society)
Wolpe kept a music notebook during his time in British Mandate Palestine in which he gathered various compositional studies as well as models for his students at the Conservatoire. It consists of four sections.
1. Development of the eleven interval rows, the material for the “Four Studies on Basic Rows” (20 pages).
2. Exercises in twelve-tone melodies (4 pages).
3. Exercises in counterpoint (36 pages).
4. Twelve-tone exercises for orchestra (8 pages).

The exercises in counterpoint include many canons, some tonal, some twelve-tone. Several have remarks that describe the techniques Wolpe was working on. Most are no more than twelve bars in length. No. 13, the “Twelve-tone Study for Clarinet,” is the longest at 20 bars.

No. 2, an eight-bar exercise on a 12-note subject made up of two complementary hexachords, sparked a series of compositions based on hexachordal materials: “Three Shorter Canons in the Inversion of two 12-tone Complementary Hexachords,” op. 24a, for Viola and Cello, Aug., Sept., 1936. And a more extensive continuation, the four-movement “Suite im Hexachord,” op. 24b, Nov., Dec., 1936.

Canons à 2, à 3, à 4
Studies in imitative counterpoint / On the technique of rhythmic variations in relation to the combination of various areas (levels) / In particular, investigations of potential structure / Melodic (melic forms) charts.


1. “Canon à 2 in inversion for B-flat Clarinet and Cello,” 1935.
2. “Exposition à 2 for Contrabass and Clarinet,” 1936.
3. “Canon à 3 for Piano,” Jan., 1937.
4. “Canon à 3 in Inversion,” Jan., 1937.
5. “Canon à 3 in shortened entry of the third voice,” Feb., 1937.
6. “Three Horns,” July, 1937.
7. “Intervallic Events. Problems of the interconnection of lines,” July, 1937.
8. “Canon à 3,” Oct., 1937.”
9. “Study à 3,” Oct., 1937.
10. ‘Study à 2,” Oct., 1937.
11. “12 Tone Canons,” Oct., 1937.
12. [no title].
13. [12 Tone Study] “for Clarinet,” Nov., 1937.
14. “Canon à 3,” Nov., 1937.
15. “Canon à 3, The mechanism for connecting the contrasting section.”
16. “Canon à 3, Here the simple inversions can be combined with various quick entries.”
17. “Canon à 4.”
18. “Canon à 4.”
19. “Canon à 4.”
20. “Canon à 3.”